Sensory needs in prison

Patrick Sims


The National Autistic Society`s “Too Much Information” campaign has done a great job of making the public aware of how sensory overload can affect autistic people in everyday situations. 

Now imagine being an autistic person in prison:

Doors banging, feet clanging on metal stair cases, locks clicking, clocks ticking, raised voices- some constant and some a shock, enforced darkness then harsh lights, strong smells of cleaning products everywhere. 
Having a meltdown in this environment would be understandable, almost predictable among those knowledgeable about autism. However to have such a response in a tough environment can leave you marked as being “different” and vulnerable to bullying and abuse.

How can an autistic person have their sensory needs met when serving a custodial sentence? I'd love to hear any strategies and good practice you are aware of, or using, for this type of scenario. Please share your experiences on this subject.